Leadership
October 2, 2020

Airbase releases The 21st-Century CFO, an ebook for strategic finance teams.

Written by
Christopher Naumann
Christopher Naumann
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Airbase releases The 21st-Century CFO, an ebook for strategic finance teams.Airbase releases The 21st-Century CFO, an ebook for strategic finance teams.

Airbase is thrilled to announce the release of The 21st-Century CFO, an ebook containing curated bits of wisdom that we’ve amassed over the course of our Path to Becoming a CFO interview series. This release complements our speaker series, webinars, articles, and burgeoning Slack community

Our programs and content address the broader shared challenges of accounting and finance professionals as they work within the constraints of small teams, and the pressure of rapid growth, to build effective finance operations and successful companies. Our topic areas are as diverse as the issues faced by this community. The one consistent area, however, is how up-and-coming finance and accounting professionals can think about building their own career.

We started Path to Becoming a CFO as a simple, local affair held monthly in San Francisco. The popular evenings were networking sessions followed by a conversation between Airbase Founder and CEO, Thejo Kote, and one of the Bay Area’s storied CFOs, venture capitalists, or other business leaders. The series was briefly interrupted at the start of the COVID-19 shutdown, but we’ve pivoted to hosting it online and have found a lot of success in the new medium, reaching a broader audience. We plan to actively continue the series as an online event into the foreseeable future!

The contents of the ebook will be particularly helpful for aspiring finance and accounting professionals, who are drawn to the challenges of venture-backed, early-stage, or startup companies. Collectively, these insights, from some of the most impressive names in the business world, aim to guide your career by addressing how to set yourself up for success, what it takes to be a CFO in the modern era, and where things are trending going into the future.

The 21st-Century CFO highlights nine major common areas of insight shared by these professionals:

  • Communication: How should communication scale as a team scales? What are the different paradigms of communication CFOs find themselves in? How is storytelling an effective skill for a CFO? 
  • Leadership: What makes a leader? What distinguishes good leaders from great leaders? Why does your team matter?
  • Values: How do you successfully balance your personal values with your career goals? And how do they inform each other?
  • Philosophy: How can a strong personal philosophy propel you in your career? How do you open yourself up to new ways of thinking? How do you prioritize between contemplation and action?
  • Mentoring: How do you find a mentor? And how do you best use one?
  • Professional Preparation: Once you’re strongly positioned to succeed, how do you actually start to make moves towards becoming a leader in finance? Which skills are requisite? Where should you look for opportunities? How do CEOs, executive recruiters, and board members evaluate potential CFOs?
  • Being a 21st-Century CFO: How has the role of CFO changed over time? What does it take to be a successful CFO today?
  • The Future of Finance: What does the future look like? Are the days of IPOs behind us? Should CFOs be afraid of their jobs being automated away?
  • Networking: What’s the value of making friends? How do you give back? Who do you ask for help when so few people have been where you are?

We will update this ebook regularly to add insights from new guests on Path to Becoming a CFO.

The current iteration features 10 industry icons, including Alfred Lin, Mark Hawkins, Kelly Battles, and Jason Warnick.

Go here to download your own copy of the ebook and see what these storied CFOs have to say to the aspiring professional!

Alfred Lin, Senior Partner at Sequoia Capital

The former CFO and COO at Zappos, Alfred currently sits on the board of seven companies including Airbnb, Houzz, DoorDash, Dia&Co, and Zipline International. In 2013, Forbes named Lin as one of the “30 Most Influential People in Tech.”

Mark Hawkins, President and CFO at Salesforce

In his long career, Mark served as CFO and Executive Vice President at Autodesk, CFO and Senior Vice President of Finance & IT at Logitech International SA, Vice President of Finance at both Dell’s Worldwide Procurement and Logistics Organization and its U.S. Home Segment, and in a variety of finance and business management roles at Hewlett-Packard.

Kelly Battles, former CFO at Quora

Prior to Quora, Kelly was the CFO of Bracket Computing and Host Analytics, Vice President of Finance at IronPort, and Director of Strategy and Corporate Development at Hewlett-Packard.

Jason Warnick, CFO at Robinhood

Jason was at Amazon for almost 20 years before Robinhood. He started as a senior manager in the Accounting department, then went on to hold a variety of management positions. By the end of his tenure, he led a team of over 500 people as VP of Finance and served as Chief of Staff to the company’s CFO.

Christopher Naumann
Christopher Naumann
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About Airbase

Airbase offers a one platform solution to manage all non-payroll spend. It provides oversight and control over spending with real-time reporting and automatic syncing directly to your general ledger. Control all paymentsphysical cards, virtual cards, ACH, and checks – from one place. Close faster. Empower employees. Control spend.